|March 7th Open House - SBA|
- The posters for the open house if you'd like to revisit them or see them for the first time
- An "existing conditions" memo
- A preliminary analysis of needs and opportunities
|Starring the just-concluded Open House|
If there could be a weakness in the schedule, it looks like it may not give sufficient attention to people who aren't already interested in bicycling and walking - especially downtown interests on Winter Street, including the State of Oregon and DAS, as well as commercial interests on Auto Group Way and Cherry Avenue. This schedule does not seem to envision - or at least explicitly mention - outreach to them. They may see any local improvements as something external "imposed" on them, driven by a special interest, and not secured by their consent, participation, or notification.
Is the Process already too Autoist?
|Too much Level of Service Hegemony! - Existing Conditions|
It is in this light that the lack of outreach to people who aren't already interested in walking and biking may be problematic.
The framework of autoism as normative and as the default standard for mobility also implies that improved mobility for people who walk and bike is not itself normative and standard, is not a baseline also, but is an amenity that must be fitted into the autoist framework. As amenity, it is optional, not foundational. Getting over this hurdle is one of the big structural shifts that needs to happen in order to achieve a fully healthy mixed ecosystem of transportation choices.
Segmenting into Thirds
Still, the route is promising. One detail that had never been explicitly discussed is how little auto traffic there really is on many of the street segments. Look at these daily counts!
|Car Traffic Counts - Existing Conditions|
With the exception of the legs on Auto Group Way and Cherry Avenue, the route meets this standard handily.
|PM bike/walk counts - Existing Conditions|
|From the 2011 SKATS RTSP|
The project team has split the project into thirds, and the division makes intuitive sense.
|Three Segments - Needs and Opportunities|
In combination with the Levels of Service analysis, however, it looks like analytical division into three segments could also be a de facto staging division into three phases. It is likely that the residential section will be the easiest, and least costly, to fund and construct.
Some of the Details
Each segment gets diagnosed with "needs," "opportunities," and "constraints." For example, #4 below is the driveway for Home Depot with a high volume of traffic and turning movements. If store management is blind-sided by the recommendations now or at some point in the future, it will be harder, or impossible even, to implement changes to benefit people who want to walk and bike.
|Segment 3 - Needs and Opportunities|
Most of them seem pretty typical and are not surprising. There doesn't seem to be much to say on many of them.
But some stand out as maybe deserving more comment or thought. On Cherry Avenue, in Segment 3, for example, I'm not sure sufficient attention has been given the full "family-friendly" quality. Even with a sidepath, are these recommendations really sufficient for users from "eight to eighty"? This area, especially the intersections and crossing movements, will require particular attention.
|The hard part near Parkway and Cherry - Needs and Opportunities|
|A key crossing at Pine - Needs and Opportunities|
|A second key crossing at Fairgrounds - Needs and Opportunities|
|Funding for Crossings on Pine and Fairgrounds - 2018-2023 TIP|
All in all, in nearly every way this residential Segment 2 looks like the easiest part to accomplish.
Another place where more outreach may be necessary is downtown, in Segment 1. Here between Chemeketa Street and Union Street, there's a lot of fretting over the loss of parking. Parking, parking, parking. We have to come to grips with our love for free or underpriced temporary car storage, and the inducement to drive-alone trips it constitutes!
|By the Yellow Lot and Union St - Needs and Opportunities|
(Maybe the project team could publish street widths and let the public experiment with different lane configurations themselves? Why isn't that part of the public outreach?)
|Potential cross-sections from Court to Mill Creek|
Needs and Opportunities
That's a small flag and a detail that reveals some vestigial autoist bias.
Hopefully the project team will publish a collection of feedback they received during the Open House and share more about the technical and public advisory committee meetings that have been held so far.
As the project goes forward and we all have a chance to look at the details more closely, there might be more to say.
The first impression from all the materials is that the City is going to proceed in a phased and incremental way, and that those of us who might like to see a full bicycle boulevard implemented all at once might be a little disappointed. We'll see how it shapes up!
(For previous notes on the Winter-Maple Bike Boulevard, see here.)